Devin Townsend to Play Strapping Young Lad Songs on Tour Next Year

"It's healthy for me to recognize that it's a part of my nature as opposed to denying it"
Devin Townsend to Play Strapping Young Lad Songs on Tour Next Year
Photo: Adam Wills
Fans of Devin Townsend thought the exceptionally creative Canadian had done away with Strapping Young Lad forever after he sheared his iconic skullet and made some lifestyle changes around a decade ago. Now, Townsend has revealed plans to revisit SYL material on tour next year.

In conversation with Australian podcast Everblack [via MetalSucks], Townsend revealed songs written for the ​now-defunct extreme metal outfit will appear in setlists for shows in 2020, alongside other material from across his vast catalogue:

I'm doing a tour in November that's gonna be a very selfish tour for me — a ton of people onstage, playing a bunch of stuff that I've wanted to play for years, a lot of improv, a lot of really interesting things. But starting next year, I'm gonna be touring everything, and that includes the Strapping stuff. I'm gonna be doing what equates to… like, what's a 'best of' what I've done over the past few years. Let's make this live venture for me the best it can possibly be and learn from your past and come back out.

While he recently showed off all kinds of musical influence on the sprawling Empath, Townsend said the decision to revisit Strapping Young Lad came as a result of falling back in love with the heavier genre:

I think there's a lot of musicians that fall away from metal. But I kind of fell back in love with it recently. But in no way does that mean that it's taking over. It's a big part of what I do and it's a big part of who I am, and I think I've denied that for a certain amount of time. But it's everything, man. It's like Empath was for me — the metal part of it is just as big a part of my trip as the mellow part of it. It's not one over the other; it's just who I am.

I don't wanna get rid of [the metal side of my music]. I love it. It has to play ball with the other stuff, and that stuff has to play ball with the other stuff. It's healthy for me to recognize that it's a part of my nature as opposed to denying it.


Townsend's final album with Strapping Young Lad was 2006's The New Black. He'll play an acoustic set as part of Heavy Montreal 2019 later this month.

Hear Townsend's appearance on Everblack below.